“Type design is so much about fashion forecasting”: Sharp Type co-founders on navigating the aesthetic zeitgeist of typography

We sat down with Chantra Malee and Lucas Sharp of Sharp Type to discuss trends in type design, building a rapport with clients, and their exciting scholarship for women of colour in typography.

Date
13 October 2021
Reading Time
2 minutes

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During September’s Nicer Tuesdays, Sharp Type co-founders Chantra Malee and Lucas Sharp took us inside the workings of their wildly successful type foundry, Sharp Type. For most working in the contemporary type industry, the foundry is a name likely heard before. In a short amount of time since their founding, Sharp Type has amassed awards from the TDC, the European Design Awards, Communication Arts and more – and for a good reason. In this eye-opening Q&A, Chantra and Lucas reveal their process of working with clients, coming up with innovative typefaces, and how they keep their foundry at the forefront of the zeitgeist. Most importantly, they talk us through their Malee Scholarship, aimed at helping, supporting, and promoting women of colour in the type design industry.

The two offered some sage advice on running a boutique foundry, talking about the refined processes of their work when taking on a small but dedicated list of clientele each year. As the talk progressed, Chantra opened up on her experience of being a woman of colour in the industry, and why she and Lucas now feel so incentivised to keep the door open for others just like her. “I’m really excited to follow these women and all of our applicants to see where they go in their careers,” Chantra said of the scholarship. As the conversation rounded up, the two shared fascinating insights on the most important factors to consider in type forecasting. It’s invaluable advice you don’t want to miss, so find out more about Sharp Type by watching Chantra and Lucas’ Nicer Tuesdays Online September talk.

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Nicer Tuesdays is our monthly event of creative talks. You can find out more here.

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